Mary Mary

Penelope Chai, Adam Spellicy

Feature film
Sci-Fi • Thriller

Years after a plague kills every woman on Earth, the world is repopulated with identical, submissive female clones. Now, one of them wants her independence…


In the walled city of Arcadia, the female population is comprised exclusively of identical Clones, created by biotech company NewGen and trained to be subservient wives to their aging husbands. One such Clone, Mary (29) works at a finishing school for younger Clones, tutoring them in the doctrine of Mother …

About Penelope Chai

Penelope studied film and theatre in Melbourne and Sydney before hitting the road to live and work in London, Edinburgh, Amsterdam, Honiara and Kakadu.

She’s written across several different genres including drama, comedy drama, action- adventure and science fiction. Cinderella Must Die, an action-adventure co-written with Matteo R. Bernardini, recently won the Australians in Film Gateway LA Screenwriting Fellowship (2017) and the Script Pipeline Grand Prize (2016). Mary, Mary, a dystopian sci-fi co-written with Adam Spellicy, won the Monte Miller AWGIE Award for Best Unproduced Screenplay (2016) and the John Hinde Award for Best Unproduced Science Fiction Feature (2015).

Her comedy-drama series Other People’s Problems premiered at Series Mania (Melbourne) in July 2017 and will screen on ABC iView later this year. Co-created and -written with Jane Dickenson, it’s based on their real-life letter writing project Clothing for Correspondence. The series was directed by Erin White and produced by Charlotte Seymour with Sue Maslin as EP.

Penelope is currently collaborating with writer/director Corrie Chen on Empty Empire, a feature film set in an ‘empty’ city inspired by Ordos in Inner Mongolia, China. Last year, with support from Screen Australia, they travelled to China on a research trip. With Film Victoria’s support, they are about to deliver the second draft.

Penelope’s other credits include the documentary Love & Fury (co-written with John Hughes for ABC TV 2013) and a short film called She was She (MIFF 2014). Both were nominated for AWGIE Awards. She is a recipient of a City of Yarra Arts Residency for The Punt Road Project (2014, with Anna McGrath and Rita Walsh) and a Wheeler Centre Hot Desk Fellowship (2013), and was part of Film Victoria’s Catapult Lab (2012). Her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies, and she has twice been shortlisted for the City of Melbourne Lord Mayor’s Creative Writing Award.

About Adam Spellicy

Adam Spellicy is a screenwriter based in Melbourne. Born in Adelaide, South Australia, he spent his formative years in the New South Wales mining town of Broken Hill, where Wake In Fright was filmed (and which was every bit as frightening as its filmic alter-ego “Bundanyabba”). He credits that experience with his enduring fascination for dark, mysterious stories.

Adam spent the better part of two decades as (variously) a graphic designer, advertising copywriter, musician and music video director before committing to a career in screenwriting, with periodic forays into directing. He has written and directed three short films: The Body Watchers (2009), Mystic Eyes (2009) and Keeper (2011), all of which have screened at local and international film festivals.

In 2016, Adam won the AWG’s Monte Miller (Long Form) Award and John Hinde Award For Best Unproduced Science Fiction Screenplay for the dystopian sci-fi feature script Mary, Mary, an honour he shared with co-writer Penelope Chai. The project was developed for producer Stuart Parkyn, with funding from Screen Australia. He is also developing a conspiracy thriller miniseries with producer Trevor Blainey and an adventure feature with co-writer Scout Cripps – the latter as part of Screen ACT’s Accelerator Pod.

An early draft of his feature screenplay Race With The Devil, a biopic based on the life of 1950s rock and roll singer Gene Vincent, won 2nd Prize in the 2004 Nashville Screenwriters Conference script competition. It has been Adam’s passion project ever since, and was the recent recipient of development funding from Scripted Ink.

Penelope Chai Screenwriter
Penelope Chai
Adam Spellicy Screenwriter
Adam Spellicy